Time for a little Italian comfort food: Easy Baked Ziti Recipe. In this recipe, the Italian sausage and a little fresh basil provide all the flavor you need for this simple one-pan dinner!
Just like anything in my life, I am slowly learning that there is a rhythm for eating. A balance between feasting and fasting, if you will. A variety and moderation–so true of the Mediterranean diet–that provide a certain quality and richness as we feed ourselves and others.
So, I follow my vegan spicy lentil soup with today’s comforting baked ziti recipe. Still, with a little less cheese for a slightly lighter version.
Not a new food to many of us, baked ziti is a classic Italian comfort food that, currently in my household, is only rivaled by this eggplant parmigiana.
This easy baked ziti relies mostly on sweet Italian sausage with fennel and fresh basil for flavor. If it weren’t for my kids, I would have choosen a spicy Italian sausage for that extra kick. You can also replace the sausage with ground beef and your favorite Italian spices, making your baked ziti a less fussy version of classic lasagna.
I serve this baked ziti next to crusty Italian bread and a simple chopped salad.
Here is the step-by-step for today’s baked ziti with Italian sausage:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the ziti past in boiling water according with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat about 3 minutes before the time indicated on the pasta package. Drain well.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent and slightly golden in color, then add the garlic and sausage. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is fully browned.
Now add the canned tomatoes and half the basil leaves. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Combine the pasta and 1/2 of the grated Parmesan cheese with only 1/2 of the sauce (you will use the rest of the sauce shortly).
If your skillet is not oven-safe, transfer the pasta to a baking dish and top with the remaining sauce and the mozzarella cheese slices.
Bake the ziti pasta in the 350 degrees F heated-oven for 20-25 minutes. When ready, remove from the oven and add the rest of the Parmesan cheese and basil leaves. Enjoy!
You may also like these one-pan comfort foods:
Today’s recipe is part of Food Network’s comfort food feast series! Here more delicious recipes from participating bloggers:
The Lemon Bowl: Whole Wheat Pasta with Sausage, Peas and Ricotta
Dishing with Divya: Homemade Maca and Cheese
Healthy Eats: 10 Pasta Dishes You Need in Your Life This Winter
Taste with the Eyes: Red Lentil Spaghetti (gluten-free) with Cauliflower Rosa Sauce (vegan)
The Mom 100: Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
Big Girls Small Kitchen: The Best Broccoli Linguine
Creative Culinary: Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Goat Cheese
FN Dish: Baked Pastas > Every Other Pasta